Football

Defoe deal almost complete

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Jermain Defoe has trained with his new Tottenham team-mates but the finishing touches are still being put on his return to White Hart Lane from Portsmouth.

The 26-year-old striker has agreed to rejoin the club he left just under a year ago and was paraded to fans ahead of the Carling Cup victory over Burnley, although the final paperwork is still to be processed by the Premier League.

Despite the expectation of swift confirmation of the deal there has been no formal announcement of the transfer being completed - but it is understood there will be no major problems in getting him registered by Friday.

The transfer will make the England international eligible to face Wigan at the JJB Stadium on Sunday, with boss Harry Redknapp hinting at an attacking partnership between Defoe and Roman Pavlyuchenko as Darren Bent is sidelined with a groin complaint.

"I hope he can play with Pavlyuchenko," Redknapp said. "They paid £16million for Bent, £14million for Pavlyuchenko and they say they couldn't play together. I couldn't be that stupid, surely."

Redknapp has struggled to partner Pavlyuchenko with Bent, with Fraizer Campbell being another attacking option.

Elsewhere in his team, Redknapp admits he is struggling to balance a midfield that includes Aaron Lennon and David Bentley but no player on the left flank.

Lennon and Bentley have both been previously billed as David Beckham's England successor on the right - but playing on the opposite flank poses problems.

Spurs have had bids turned down for Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing and insist they have moved on to other targets - and it is clear Redknapp wants to solve the problem.

"It's difficult balancing up David and Aaron Lennon, the boy is a right-sided player," Redknapp said.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Portsmouth
Roman Pavlyuchenko
Internationals
Stewart Downing
Football
Aaron Lennon
David Beckham
Jermain Defoe
Wigan Athletic
David Bentley
Middlesbrough
Darren Bent
Fraizer Campbell

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